Hypnic jerk, also known as hypnagogic jerk or sleep start, is considered to be an altered state of consciousness that is typically experienced just when you’re about to fall asleep. It is accompanied by involuntary twitches or sudden jolts in the body that is believed to be caused by uneven shutting down of the different parts of the brain.
From an esoteric point of view, hypnic jerk is viewed as a portal where metaphysical beings can touch your body. Hypnic jerks are believed to be your spiritual guardians’ way of nudging you towards a higher state of awareness. If you’ve been out of alignment, this serves as a signal to return to yourself, realign with your true soul mission, and tune in to the infinite wisdom of the universe.
If you have been stressed over worldly matters and overly attached to your sense of self, hypnic jerks are believed to be used by divine beings to ground you and help awaken your consciousness. It is also considered to be a sign that spirits from other dimensions are trying to communicate with you.
How Does a Hypnic Jerk Feel Like?
According to James Walsh, executive director and senior scientist at St. Luke’s Sleep Medicine, a hypnic jerk is a full-body experience that involves involuntary muscle spasms and sudden jolt in the body. It typically transpires during the shift from the first stage of Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep to the second stage.
This phenomenon usually occurs during the hypnagogic state when your body is falling asleep. According to anecdotal evidence, it is usually accompanied by mental imageries, seeing flashing lights, deafening noises, and feeling like they’re falling.
Intense hypnic jerks can often shake the person back into wakefulness. It can be disorienting and may even trigger anxiety about going back to sleep. Some even reported feeling their hearts racing and sweating profusely. On the other hand, mild hypnic jerks are hardly noticeable, and those who experience it can sleep through it.
What Causes Hypnic Jerk?
While researchers still can’t pinpoint exactly what causes hypnic jerks, some theories suggest that it’s usually triggered by chronic sleep deprivation, excessive alcohol/caffeine consumption, exhaustion, poor sleep posture, or vigorous exercise just before sleep. On the other hand, religious people believe that it’s due to one’s deviation from the path God set out for you.
From an evolutionary standpoint, hypnic jerks are said to be an archaic reflex acquired from our ancestors. Because they used to sleep on trees, they have to check the stability of their body position before they go unconscious.
According to some scientist, hypnic jerks happens when the brain misinterprets the relaxed muscles as falling. To regain balance, the brain sends signals to the leg and arm muscles, causing a twitching sensation throughout the body.
Another theory put forward by researchers of sleep-related disorders is that hypnic jerks are merely a sign that one’s body is finally drifting to sleep, although reluctantly. They contend that feeling these involuntary muscle spasms may indicate that there are some glitches during the switching of signals from the brain’s reticular activating system (responsible for wakefulness) to the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (which promotes sleep and reduce wakefulness).
Hypnic Jerk Spiritual Meanings
Aside from religious, evolutionary, and scientific hypotheses, there are also metaphysical interpretations regarding this phenomenon. Listed below are some of the general spiritual meanings of hypnic jerk.
As it is usually accompanied by a falling sensation, having hypnic jerks might be an indication that you’ll be experiencing some major setbacks that will disrupt the stability of your life. If you’ve experienced this, your metaphysical guardians might be warning you that you’ve made a wrong decision, and you will have to face its consequences soon.
Recurrent hypnic jerks in one night are believed to be a sign that you’re making several mistakes in your life right now that can sabotage your future. While you can’t go back to the past and undo your errors, you can learn from this experience and use this knowledge to restrategize and avoid making the same mistake all over again.
2. You’re Out of Alignment
Hypnic jerks could also signify that you’re out of alignment with your true soul mission. Perhaps your old wounds have been resurfacing, and you’ve been feeling a sort of sickness of the soul for a while. Maybe you’ve forgotten all the spiritual insights that you’ve learned along the way, and you feel as though everything is meaningless.
You may be feeling lost and in desperate need of clarity and guidance. Hypnic jerks could be a message from the divine that it’s okay to feel this way. They are reminding you that this is not a setback but rather a rite of passage. Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. Moment by moment. Breath by breath.
Throw away all the notions of the right path. You’re exactly where you need to be. Everything is happening for the evolution of your soul. Trust the process, acknowledge whatever you’re feeling right now, befriend your monsters, and find the light within.
3. You Are Being Guided
Another spiritual meaning of hypnic jerk is that you are loved and supported. Your spiritual support system is letting you know that they are guiding you every step of the way. Follow your heart and whatever feels right for you now, and they’ll have your back, whichever path you choose.
Sleep starts are also believed to indicate that negative forces are surrounding you, and your spiritual guardians are waking you up so that you will be safe from harm.
4. Brace Yourself
Additionally, one common spiritual meaning of hypnic jerk is that you will soon face major changes that will flip the course of your life. This event will test you, shake you to your core, force you to confront all the wounds that need healing and make you question your long-held beliefs.
Beings from the metaphysical realm are encouraging you to brace yourself for whatever is coming your way. You might feel broken down and defeated at times, but when you look back, you’ll realize that these challenges are stepping stones to becoming the best version of yourself. These tests will teach you everything you need to live your best life.
From a biblical point of you, the spiritual meaning of hypnic jerk is believed to be a reminder to reconnect with God. Your guardian angels are urging you to interact with God to nurture your personal relationship with him, give thanks for all the blessings he bestowed on you, and ask for support in your endeavors. Through prayer, you will open yourself up to receiving more blessings and guidance from the higher realms.
Moreover, according to Catholic Christians, experiencing hypnic jerks is an indication that Satan is attempting to take over your body by trapping your soul in a state of limbo between the conscious and unconscious state. They further pointed out that Satan can’t control your body during a wakeful state, so he tries to creep in when you’re out of alignment, exhausted, and stressed.
6. Spiritual Awareness
In some cultures, hypnic jerks are thought to be a pathway to spiritual awareness. In Tibetan Buddhism, for instance, meditators practice “dream yoga” during hypnagogic states. In this transitional state of consciousness, it’s common to experience involuntary spasms as well as visual hallucinations. Buddhists believe that this dream-like state is perfect for training the mind to develop spiritual awareness.
Though there’s still no consensus on what actually causes hypnic jerks, there have been different theories from an evolutionary, neurological, and religious point of view. From an esoteric perspective, it is generally interpreted as a nudge from the spiritual guardians to be grounded, tune in to a higher state of awareness, and realign yourself to your soul mission.
Because hypnagogic states are believed to be a portal from the metaphysical to the third-dimensional realm, experiencing hypnic jerk might be a sign of psychic awakening and reconnecting to the higher source. This phenomenon could also be an indication that your body is preparing for astral projection. Moreover, it serves as a reminder to trust the process and allow things to happen in their due time.
While there’s still no evidence that hypnic jerks pose any serious threat to one’s body or soul, this experience can still be disorienting. In order to avoid this experience, try to establish a regular sleeping schedule, reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake, and incorporate meditation in your routine. If this is frequently happening, consult a doctor as this could be a mild form of seizure.